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Qantas and Virgin Australia move in following Tiger Airways grounding

Qantas and Virgin Australia move in following Tiger Airways grounding

Australian flag-carrier Qantas and Virgin Australia are expected to be the big winners down under following the grounding of rival Tiger Airways.

Singapore-based Tiger was banned from the skies by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority over the weekend, with as many as 40,000 passengers set to be hit over the coming days.

Following the news shares in both Qantas and Virgin rose sharply to hit one-month highs.

Tiger Airways – which accounts for five-to-six per cent of the Australian travel market - put the cost of the grounding of its ten Airbus A320 aircraft in Australia at about $1.6 million a week.

Shares in the airline fell by as much as 16 per cent on the markets this morning, reaching record lows.

Singapore Airlines controls about a third of the budget carrier. However, it is not involved in its operation.

Tiger Airways could be grounded for some time, with the CASA arguing safety procedures at the carrier posed a “serious and imminent risk to air safety”.

Concerns over pilot training and maintenance were first raised in March.

Tiger Airways confirmed it was in discussions with the safety regulator and is still aiming to resume flights in Australia as quickly as possible.

“We would also like to reiterate that Tiger Airways is committed to the airline’s long-term future in Australia,” Tiger said in a statement.